Effective networks of marine protected areas (MPAs) are explicitly recognized and called for in international biodiversity conservation strategies such as the Aichi Targets. While various indicators have been proposed to assess effectiveness of individual MPAs, no comprehensive set of indicators exists for MPA networks, particularly for Aichi Target 11.
This study used a systematic literature review to identify indicators of MPA network effectiveness.
The obtained results showed that assessments of MPA network effectiveness predominantly focused on effective management while neglecting equitable management and integration into the wider land and seascape. The review showed that indicators tended to focus on ecological characteristics, overlooking social, economic, and governance dimensions.
The authors highlight key challenges in addressing these gaps, including identifying conflicting priorities and objectives in adjacent marine and land areas that interfere with cooperation and knowledge sharing, and ensuring diverse areas with distinct social and ecological contexts.
Meehan et al. (2020) How far have we come? A review of MPA network performance indicators in reaching qualitative elements of Aichi Target 11. Conservation Letters DOI: 10.1111/conl.12746